To determine the adequacy and effectiveness of the helicopter services it provides to residents of underserved areas who suffer a trauma injury, EMS should collect, assess, and report accurate and complete data on the number of cancelled flights in each of these underserved areas, including the method of transportation used instead of helicopters and the transport times and trauma patient outcomes.
The 2015 EMS System Report included information on the number of and rationale for cancelled flights and was published on November 1, 2015. The 2016 EMS System Report is currently being compiled and will include information on cancelled flights, method of transport, transport times and patient outcomes.
Los Angeles County, through its EMS Agency, is in the process of developing a mechanism to reconcile the information of the cancelled flight to a specific trauma patient, and provide information on the actual method of transport, transport time and patient outcome. Its EMS Agency has reported the number, location, and mortality of patients transported by helicopter within the system in the 2013 and 2014 annual EMS System Data Report which is available to the public. The next annual data report for 2015 will have the added information on the number of and rationale for cancelled flights. The EMS Agency anticipates that it will have a mechanism in place to reconcile the information of the cancelled flight to a specific trauma patient and provide information on the actual method of transport, transport time and patient outcome ready for the 2016 EMS System Data Report.
The EMS Agency collected this data for fiscal year 2013-14 and will continue monitoring all EMS helicopter flights that are cancelled.
We believe EMS should report the information it collected regarding cancelled flights to clearly show the impact that cancelled helicopter flights have on its ability to transport trauma patients in a timely manner.
The EMS Agency data report is currently being developed, which includes helicopter transport and trauma care data. EMS plans to complete and publish the report by December 2014.
The DHS Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Agency will analyze data, develop reports and publish annual reports on helicopter transport and care of trauma patients. Data collection methods and reporting formats will be redesigned and reviewed.
Agency responses received are posted verbatim.